Belarus' delegation to visit the World Congress against Death Penalty
From February 26 to March 1 Brussels with host the World Congress Against the Death Penalty - the world’s leading abolitionist event in terms of its scope and political ambition.
It brings together politicians, activists, lawyers, researchers, etc. who are involved in the cause of abolition of the death penalty. 1,500 people are expected every day, including 20 ministers and more than 200 political representatives from across the world.
A wide range of high level plenary sessions, roundtables and workshops, as well as issue-related cultural events (screenings, theatre plays, art exhibitions) are scheduled during the congress.
The Opening Ceremony will take place at the European Parliament on 27 February 2019 and will be dedicated to the next steps towards abolition.
A delegation from Belarus, consisting of advocates of the death penalty abolition and representing the public campaign "Human rights defenders against the death penalty" will join the congress.
On February 28, the Human Rights Center Viasna, in cooperation with ECPM, FIDH, Council of Europe will hold a side event "Why death penalty continues to be applied in Belarus?"
Belarus is the only country in Europe where death sentences continue to be carried out regularly and in full secrecy. Despite attempts by human rights organizations as well as local activists to achieve the abolition or at least a moratorium on the death penalty, Belarus executes two to four people per year on the average. The side-event will highlight violations related to the use of the death penalty in Belarus from the point of view of death convicts' relatives, local activists and representatives of international organizations. It will assess the progress made by the Belarusian authorities towards the abolition. The discussion will also focus on the effectiveness of actions undertaken by the European Union, the United Nations and the Council of Europe, aimed at accelerating the abolition of the death penalty in Belarus.
The Congress will culminate in the traditional World March for Abolition, a real highlight of the World Congresses against the Death Penalty.